Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Fall Ride .... Our last for a while?

The day before we departed for New York,
we trailered the horses over the the National Forest 
and had a lovely 8 mile ride.
We've been enjoying mapping out more of this sections of the forest
in the Maple Flats/Coal Rd area.  

This was our first time to come upon this particular "vernal" sinkhole pond...
Doesn't Cloud seem to be saying,
"What??  Are we back in Louisiana?"
It does look a bit like a swamp!

The leaves beginning to turn
and the horses were perfect
After I snapped this photo, Joe saw the stick stuck in Sarge's bridle... what a sweet horse!  
For a little while we were bushwhacking around,
trying to connect two trails 
which dead end at the forest border
in order to combine them somehow to make a loop.  

Using our GPS's we were trying to be careful not to wander onto private property.  
In most areas there's nothing to give us a clue, 
but I got a kick out of these opposing signs....
Hmmm don't want to go left onto the Hunting Club property!
Better stay on the "safe" side.  

Speaking of safe...
You never know what you'll come upon out in the woods.  
This sign looked a little bedraggled from the recent rains; it hadn't been there the previous week.  
Who would post a sign out in the woods?....
Maybe a lost dog?
The East Coast Bigfoot Researchers Association??
"We believe in educating the public to bring awareness of whats really hiding among us all"

I couldn't have made up such a fantastic sign!

If Joe and I roust up Bigfoot on a ride, 
you'll all be the first to know!  

Unfortunately the day we returned from NY,
Sarge was found to be lame.
He's not telling us what happened, 
but at age 19, we're a little worried.  
We've cancelled our plans to go back to the Flint Hill Trail Ride 
at the end of the month 
and our fingers are crossed that he'll be sound again soon.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

One of the things on my To-Do list for this trip to NYC
was to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Since I am a tourist when in NY, 
I see no shame in acting like one!
Asher was a sport and joined in on the walk
even though it made him look like a tourist too
instead of the metro-wise local resident that he is....
(I'm just now seeing that we have similar taste in sunglasses styles!)

We took the subway from Manhattan over to Brooklyn 
so that we were walking back toward the city 
and had the NYC skyline ahead of us the whole time.

The bridge has been open for over 120 years (1883)
and was the world's first steel cable suspension bridge
.....previous suspension bridges were built of iron.
The two gothic towers which hold up the cables 
have a cathedral like appearance....
what a struggle it must have been to lay these huge granite blocks....

At the time of it's completion, it was the world's longest suspension bridge; 
it has been way eclipsed now and ranks as 91st in the world.
It was a fun mile long walk....
bustling with people...
the day was clear and the weather couldn't have been finer.
To set up the following story: 
Lexington is a town of about 7,000,
the surrounding county is about 35K, 
NYC is just a tad larger.... oh around 8.5 million!  

Lexington is a minuscule drop in the ocean of humanity.

But look!!
Who's that coming across the bridge 
wearing sunglasses?
Fellow church members and bridge players 
from tiny Lexington.... 
Frank and Cecile.  
I didn't realize that I'd snapped their photo until I got home, 
but as soon as they came alongside us, 
we of course recognized each other. 
and stopped and chatted for a while. 

This was done in true Lexington fashion: 
we messed up the progress of other walkers 
across the bridge in much the same way
that we routinely clog the aisles of our local Kroger ..... visiting while we shop! 
Ahhhh what a lovely small world we live in!     

Saturday, October 10, 2015

NYC Part Two

Bronze doorway leading into the narthex of Trinity Church

We repeated a few of our usual tourist activities:
walking in Central Park
and along the length of the High Line,
plus spending a morning at the Met.
Panorama of the skyline from rooftop of the Met

With Asher and Chris... Roof @MMA
But over our 5 day visit,
we got in quite a few firsts also....
Each restaurant we ate in was a new one for us
and unfortunately since Asher picked them all
and served as our walking navigator,
I don't remember the name of a single establishment!

We met Chris' parents for the first time
and were treated to a meal at their lovely apartment in the city.

We'd never to the MOMA before....

                                                            We took our first Uber rides
                                                       (our first Lyft rides were in Seattle.)
BTW, I checked my phone app
upon our arrival home....
no Uber cars in Lexington yet.

And of course I saw a Pope in real life for the first time!

We spent an afternoon at the 9/11 museum.  

From the outer fountains and memorial,

to the preserved portions of foundation
and displays within
it was a remarkable tribute to those who died on 9/11
in NYC as well as DC and PA.
The setting and the displays were both 
instructive and sobering.  
Since our return,
I've been surprised by the number of people
who've told me that they don't want to see it,
.... don't want to be depressed etc.
All I can say is "Go anyway."

I was relieved that I didn't feel that I was being mawkish
or disrespectful.  
The afternoon reminded me that 9/11 wasn't just a national "event" 
which altered our political course and attitudes
but a human tragedy on an intensely personal scale affecting individuals and families.  

Friday, October 9, 2015

Another Trip! NYC

From a hike in the woods to.....

The rooftop bar at the Viceroy Hotel in NYC.....

I don't think we're in Kansas, Toto!  

The bar had a sweeping view of the length of Central Park....
We were way overdue for a NY visit!
Look who joined us for a glass of wine 
when he got off work!
(sorry for the weird backlighting.... I think I need the newest iPhone)

We came to the big city to see Asher and Chris,
but it just so happened that there were scads UN dignitaries in town
for the opening session of the UN General Assembly. 

And there was also this older guy in a little black Fiat 
who drove right past us on his way to church....
RIGHT past us!
We were walking toward Asher's apartment 
after our rooftop drinks 
and there he went.....
The policeman in the above photo is being hyper aware of all potential danger to the pope...
He's just like the rest of us
and taking a photo with his phone!
And to think that people stood in line with tickets to get a glimpse of him!  
We were in the right spot at the right time!

More NYC tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Hike to the Old Lexington Reservoir

Two weeks ago, the hiking outing was to the Moore's Creek Reservoir.
Entering the clearing for the reservoir after 2.5 mile hike in.
It's also called the Old Lexington Reservoir,
not only because the digging and dam were begun 100 years ago in 1915,
but because it's no longer used to provide water to town.  
The reservoir only served those in the immediate town limits.  
County dwellers had to do dig wells 
or pipe water from creeks and springs to serve their homes 
and that's still the case today.

We were relieved when our well came in at 180 feet.....
the house was already pretty far along 
and in retrospect it was pretty dumb not to drill before we started construction!
Bridge below the dam
A treatment plant for Maury River water now provides Lexington's water
 so the reservoir sits untapped. 
The 22 acre lake and it's dam are still owned by the City of Lexington,  
but the surrounding watershed of 2,300+ acres 
is a gorgeous wooded tract 
now owned by the Virginia Dept of Forestry.
Peaceful and isolated, it sits 11 miles from town....
there must have been quite a system of pipes running from it once upon a time.   

The hike in is 2.5 miles from the end of a gravel Forest service road, 
totally wooded until reaching the reservoir clearing. 
The hiking gang on the dam
We'd had a month long "drought" so the water was low.
I can hear friends in CA laughing now at that description 
since their drought is epic and ours was only a temporary blip.  

My original plans for the day were to return home from the hike;
go up to the barn to ride; 
and then rush home to attend a concert that evening.
The beginning of some fall color along the trail
Time management isn't my forte:  
no matter what, I think that I can fit everything I want to do into a day. 
But after getting home, taking off my boots 
and having a cup of mid afternoon cup of coffee on the porch,
commonsense took over and my plans to ride were jettisoned.

We were hosting the two artists for the Krantz' evening House Concert,
so being late to the performance wasn't an option!

Sally Barris from Nashville and Rebecca Folsom from Colorado
were superb even though the crowd was slim.
It's always a pleasure to talk to the musicians 
and hopefully help a bit by giving them a "free" convenient place to stay....
My "fee" for hosting is a CD, and I scored three of them!

I missed the next week's hike and rain cancelled the one a few days ago....
Why wasn't I hiking a week ago???
That's the next post!